Caregivers as Partners education for healthcare providers

The Change Foundation promotes a positive evolution in Ontario’s healthcare system by engaging patients, family caregivers and health providers to explore contemporary healthcare issues.

Yet caregivers are not always recognized, valued or invited to participate as members of the circle of care. Despite the healthcare system relying heavily on caregivers to care for patients, providers often do not engage with caregivers. Challenges related to workload, uncertainty of available resources, a clear understanding of privacy & consent legislation, concerns over caregiver expectations and a general sense of feeling ill-equipped to offer support are mentioned as perceived barriers by healthcare providers to engaging with caregivers.

However, partnering with caregivers yields positive benefits to patient/client’s health outcomes, healthcare providers and the healthcare system’s performance. By partnering with caregivers, healthcare providers can benefit from: increased patient/client healthcare compliance; a better understanding on how the patient/client is managing their conditions at home (i.e. onset of new symptoms, earlier identification of decline); and improved therapeutic relationships with caregivers.

In healthcare, it is so instinctual to focus on the patient/client; partnering with caregivers is a new type of partnership. And how to exactly partner remains a mystery.

Caregivers as Partners

The Caregivers as Partners learning suite, is a series of three educational modules developed with the aim to help providers improve the caregiver experience and ultimately become partners in care. Participants will learn how to engage, support and empower caregivers to improve patient health outcomes and the experience of the entire care team.

The Change Foundation in partnership with the Changing CARE teams, collaborated with healthcare providers, patients/clients and caregivers to co-design the content to offer participants practical and tangible learnings. The series is applicable to anyone working in health and community care from front-line providers and ancillary staff to senior managers and leadership interested in improving the caregiver experience.

Each of the modules takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and covers the following topics:
1. Understanding the Role of Caregivers
2. Communicating with Caregivers
3. Empowering Caregivers

The interactive modules employ adult learning principles and e-learning best practices. They are rooted in open learning, accessibility compliant and are available in an online format for individual learning, learning management system (LMS) formats for organization integration, and PowerPoint for group learning.

Accredited & Applicable Towards Professional Development

This self-learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Ontario Chapter for up to 1 Mainpro+ credits. If you are a specialist, you can apply the credits from this program to the Maintenance of Certification Program at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada under Section 2: Self-Learning. If you are a social worker or social service worker, you may use the program towards your professional development as you see fit under the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers’ Continuing Competence Program.

Accessing the Modules

To access the modules, you will need to create an account and login. An account is required to receive a certificate of completion upon completing all three modules. Additionally, you will need to have Adobe Flash installed and enabled on your computer.

For information about the LMS versions, please contact

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